Smoked Mac and Cheese
If you are a fan of Mac and Cheese, then definitely give this smoked Mac and Cheese recipe a try. We love this smoked version for the holiday season because it frees up the oven for your other side dishes!
Smoked Mac and Cheese
No. 10 Lancaster skillet or similar 12" cast iron skillet
French Roux Spoon (optional)
1 lb of Macaroni noodles
1/2 cup salted butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup flour
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup gouda cheese
1 cup gruyere cheese
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp mustard powder
2 cups toasted and crushed Butter Ritz Crackers
1. Cook pasta following package instructions, cook for one to two minutes less than instructed. You want the pasta to be al dente since it will finish in the smoker.
2. Start up your smoker and preheat to 225. We prefer hickory for this recipe, but you can use whatever pellets you prefer.
3. Let's make our roux! Heat your No.10 skillet to Medium-High heat and add butter. Once the butter has melted, add flour and continuously stir. When the roux starts to bubble, turn the burner to Medium heat. Keep stirring until the mixture turns light brown (about 5-6 minutes). Make sure to stir continuously to avoid burning your roux.
Tip: Never allow the roux to get to a boil; this can cause your sauce to become grainy.
4. Once your roux is light brown, add the mustard powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Using a whisk, slowly add in the heavy cream. Once it starts bubbling, turn down the heat, so it is at a simmer. Add in milk and whisk until smooth and creamy. If the consistency seems thin, that's ok. We want a little extra moisture than traditional oven-baked mac and cheese. Add 1-2 tbsp more milk as needed to get the sauce to a slightly thinner consistency than pancake batter.
5. Turn the burner to low and add cream cheese. Stir until combined. While stirring, gradually add in grated cheeses. Once combined, turn off the burner and add cooked pasta. Stir well; mac and cheese should be thoroughly mixed with cheese sauce.
6. Evenly spread out the mac and cheese in your skillet. Top mac and cheese with toasted Ritz crackers, and place in the smoker. Allow the mac and cheese to smoke for 1 hour for a delicious smokey flavor!
Tip: Placing a pot of water in the smoker can help the mac and cheese stay moist.
7. Finally, you can pop your mac and cheese in the oven on broil to help crisp the Ritz crackers right before serving. Serve immediately for a deliciously cheesy and smokey side dish.